Blackjack & Moonlight by Magdalen Braden Series: The Blackjack Quartet, #3 Publication Date: May 25, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Sex v. Love—a battle in the courtroom and the bedroom! Hotshot litigator Elise Carroll doesn’t have time for romance—she wants to make partner at her Philadelphia law firm. Despite her mother’s urging, Elise avoids settling down by keeping her relationships short and sexy. Her idea of a perfect date? Beer and pretzels at a Phillies game. When Jack “Blackjack” McIntyre—Philly’s super-sexy new judge—falls for Elise in court, she’s horrified. He “claims” to be in love with her—but that can’t possibly be true. He doesn’t give up trying to wine and dine her, though, so she devises a new scheme. Like all men, surely he’ll leave after a short and sexy fling. Only problem—Blackjack refuses to sleep with her! They compromise—she’ll go on his romantic dates if he’ll alternate them with her “just sex” dates. Their contract works surprisingly well—until Elise can no longer find the line between love and sex. Can Elise get her life back where she wants it—in a partner’s office? Or will Jack McIntyre use his superpowers to win their contest of wits?
“Hey, it’s my favorite client.” Elise Carroll grinned and dropped her briefcase so she could scoop DeeDee, her secretary’s four-year-old, into her arms. Kim looked up from a file open on her desk, her cheeks striped by dried tears. “Can you play with her for a couple minutes?” Uh-oh. More domestic drama—the last thing Kim needed. “Okay, but I cannot be late for that man.” Elise walked into her office. With the door open, Kim would be able to watch her daughter from across the hall. “What man, Auntie Leese?” DeeDee asked, her corn-silk hair glinting under the office lights. Elise pointed at the magazine on her desk. “Him.” DeeDee reached for Philadelphia Magazine, the cover showing a handsome man in a black robe. The headline read, “Philadelphia’s Newest—and Sexiest—Judge” and beneath that, in smaller letters, “Blackjack McIntyre moves from the US Attorney’s office to his own district court.” “Who’s dat?” DeeDee inspected the photo. Elise laughed. “Just the latest guy to think a black robe makes him right all the time.” She set DeeDee down on the carpeted floor. “You want to color, sweetheart?” “Sure!” Elise pulled some paper out of the recycling bin, and after checking what was printed on it, spread it out on the floor, blank sides up. She found the crayons she kept in her desk for DeeDee’s visits. She checked her watch. “Oh, lord, look at the time. If I don’t leave immediately I’ll be late for him.” She pointed at Blackjack McIntyre, scowling at her from the cover of the magazine. Kim grinned. “I can’t wait to hear all about it. Details, I want all the details. Is he as good-looking as in his press conferences?” “Not you too.” Elise threw the magazine onto Kim’s desk. Jack McIntyre’s blue-black hair and chiseled jaw mocked her from the cover. Superman in a judicial robe. “I don’t plan to be there long enough to look at him. Five minutes, tops. He grants my motion, and I’m out of there.” “Oh, please. You know he’s seriously hunky. And the article says he’s not dating anyone at the moment.” “Well, based on the women he’s been seen with, I’m not his type. Good thing because I have no interest in dating him or anyone else right now. I want to focus on making partner. And you’d better focus on getting your daughter to day care.” Another check of the watch. Shit. There’d better be a cab downstairs or she’d be late. On her way back into her office, Elise looked at the papers on the floor. DeeDee had drawn a figure in black. Either it was the Honorable Jack McIntyre or a vampire bat. Hard to tell.
She regarded him with queasy loathing. Of course he was like granite. He looked like he'd never been wrong, ever, in his life. And now she had to point out how wrong he was? She could feel the steam squealing in her head.
She wasn't sure she loved him, although she really enjoyed being with him. Plus, she was still waiting to hear trumpets and a celestial choir proclaiming, "He's the One and Now is the Time."
I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book for several chapters. Then when I decided I did, I still wasn’t sure I was going to like the main character throughout much of the book, but she grew on me. Ms. Braden’s writing style is easy to follow yet has interesting vocabulary and scenes, and has entertaining and humorous dialog that flows smoothly most of the time. However, she doesn’t follow a set formula or predictable path. The reader is kept guessing about essential and important details and events that are revealed nonchalantly for the most part, unless you know to pay attention. Definitely a fantasy, as no rich and accomplished man would put up with the nonsense our female character dished out, although she apparently was a dynamo in bed. Oh, and there were some steamy sex scenes, not a lot, but well done and more alluded to than descriptive. In an odd turn-around, for me anyway, I was pulling for the male character to get what he wanted and needed, when I am usually more sympathetic to the female characters… but this whole story was like that, and I enjoyed the change of pace.
After pairing up lawyers romantically in her head for fifteen years, Magdalen Braden traded in her job as an attorney to set her inner matchmaker free. Today she draws on her past adventures in a Philadelphia law office to write her sexy contemporary romance series, The Blackjack Quartet. Blackjack & Moonlight, the third installment in the series, was a finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest in 2012. All four books contain love, romance, and a solid dose of legal humor. Magdalen connects with readers at her local satellite of the Lady Jane's Salon® reading series, and with fellow writers at her Romance Writers of America® chapter. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her crossword-loving husband, their Rhody-mix dog, and two omnipresent cats in the Endless Mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania.